My research focuses broadly on twentieth- and twenty-first century German literature and culture and interdisciplinary questions of translation, visuality, and world literature. More specifically, the relationship between historiography and the literary discourse informs my research and formed the basis of my first monograph W.G. Sebald’s Hybrid Poetics: Literature as Historiography (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2014; paperback 2016).
In this book, I argue that Sebald’s works demonstrate the emergence of a new hybrid discourse of literature as historiography, but the book as a whole reaches beyond the focus of a single author to illuminate the interplay of aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics in twentieth-century literature in German. It is moreover the first monograph to examine Sebald’s œuvre in its entirety, including unpublished archival material held at the Archive of German Literature in Marbach and the Harvard Houghton Library. Please see the De Gruyter website for the table of contents.
This research on W.G. Sebald has deepened my engagement in the field of Holocaust Studies, in particular the ethical and aesthetic dimension of representing the Holocaust. This work also led me to explore the life and works of H.G. Adler. I was able to bring these areas of research together, first in the form of an international conference and second in the edited volume Witnessing, Memory, Poetics: H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014). I collaborated with Helen Finch (Leeds) on both of these projects. I have continued to work on H.G. Adler and edited the volume A Modernist in Exile: The International Reception of H.G. Adler (1910-1988) (Oxford: Legenda, 2019; paperback 2021).
The broader context for these projects is the relationship between literature and knowledge and more specifically the type of knowledge that can be generated by – and not merely transported in – literary texts. These questions are explored in the volume Aisthesis und Noesis. Zwei Erkenntnisformen vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (Munich: Fink, 2013), which I co-edited with Hans Adler (University of Wisconsin, Madison).